CDs / DVDs

www.amazon.com, 21. November 2011
An amazing accomplishment

This is an amazing accomplishment. I found myself spellbound from the first notes through the entire symphony with its 82+ minutes up to the horrifying, ghastly conclusion, when all life seems to end. The La Monnaie (The old Brussels Mint) Symphony Orchestra musicians play on the same level as I would expect the Vienna Philharmonic or the Lucerne Festival Orchestra: simply fabulous. Hartmut Haenchen - judging from this performance - ranks with the very few stellar Mahler conductors today. I have had recent opportunity to praise his Mozart (see my review of the all-Mozart concert with the C.Ph.E. Bach Chamber Orchestra), but I am impressed even more with his reading of what is one of Mahler's most demanding symphonies. The reading is phenomenally concentrated, tight, dramatic and idiomatic. There is not a slack note, every minute passage and the many emotional and dynamic shifts are there to incredible effect. As opposed to Abbado, Haenchen positions the Scherzo before the Andante Moderato: this makes good sense to me. All this is captured in splendid uncompressed sound and vivid video. When one considers that the entire concert was recorded live in one session (no edits are audible), the result is even more amazing. If this is indeed part of a Mahler cycle, I can hardly await the rest. Is someone at ICA Classics reading this?
Gerhard P. Knapp
www.amazon.com, 01. August 2011
5 out of 5 stars
More Than Wonderful

As wonderful as the Abbado/Lucerne Mahler 6th performance is, I enjoy this production of the Mahler 6th with Haenchen even more. Whereas the Abbado/Lucerne production is slightly closer on camera work, I think the Haenchen/La Monnaie production exhibits more richness and depth in the sound tract. The La Monnaie percussion section is unsurpassed in this performance (the 6th symphony is arguably Mahler's most percussive). Of course the avid Mahler fan will want to own both the Abbado/Lucerne production and the Haenchen/La Monnaie production.
John T. Blake
www.amazon.com, 03. März 2011
Great CD, great performance!

It was great! I recommended this CD to all my tutors and students at TutorsTeach.com where I work as a tutor.
Amir M. (Bronx, NY)
www.amazon.com, 23. Februar 2011
This is an amazing accomplishment. I found myself spellbound from the first notes through the entire symphony with its 82+ minutes up to the horrifying, ghastly conclusion, when all life seems to end. The La Monnaie (The old Brussels Mint) Symphony Orchestra musicians play on the same level as I would expect the Vienna Philharmonic or the Lucerne Festival Orchestra: simply fabulous. Hartmut Haenchen - judging from this performance - ranks with the very few stellar Mahler conductors today. I have had recent opportunity to praise his Mozart (see my review of the all-Mozart concert with the C.Ph.E. Bach Chamber Orchestra), but I am impressed even more with his reading of what is one of Mahler's most demanding symphonies. The reading is phenomenally concentrated, tight, dramatic and idiomatic. There is not a slack note, every minute passage and the many emotional and dynamic shifts are there to incredible effect. As opposed to Abbado, Haenchen positions the Scherzo before the Andante Moderato: this makes good sense to me. All this is captured in splendid uncompressed sound and vivid video. When one considers that the entire concert was recorded live in one session (no edits are audible), the result is even more amazing. If this is indeed part of a Mahler cycle, I can hardly await the rest. Is someone at ICA Classics reading this?
www.amazon.com, 16. April 2005
Well, but better with Slovenian Philharmonic

This is a live recording with the Netherlands Phil. Orchestra, now edited in a Mahler integral in Brilliant, the first movt., a "march", is something slow, like in Barbirolli's, I prefer the Haenchen's studio recording of this work in OPUS with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra (Philarmonia Slavonica), from the 80's, an energetic, dinamic, colourful interpretation in only one CD, in a bargain collection. Haenchen is an inmense conductor and I think the appropiate conductor for (for example) Philadelphia or NY orchestras in USA. I recommend you to visit his web direction in "www.haenchen.net" Oscar Olavarria
www.amazon.com, 26. November 1999
Wow

I'm not an afficianado of Mahler 6th, but I do love the Mahler that I know well (1, 2, 5, and to some extent, 4, 7, 10). This recording, however, made me fall in love with 6 immediately. There's a lot that is diabolic, sweeping, and overwhelming, although I'm not so sure about how well-recorded the hammer blows are. The playing of the Netherlands Phil is first rate, and they are recorded in the Concertgebouw. While not the clearest digital recording I've ever heard, it avoids a lot of the DDD pitfalls, and some details, especially in the finale, are very well brought out. At the price, you surely can't get much better performance, or for that matter, at any price. All this leads me to conclude that Haenchen is an unsung excellent conductor. I've now heard a lot of his Haydn and some of his Mozart (w/ CPE Bach CO on Berlin), his Strauss and now his Mahler, and have never been less than greatly impressed. Maybe LaserLight will do the right thing and record just about everything the man conducts!
Gregory M. Zinkl (Chicago, IL)
www.amazon.com, 27. Juni 1999
Haenchen's a 5-Star Conductor with A 3-Star Recording

Even after listening to Karajan, Bernstein, and Barbirolli, I still find Haenchen's conducting of Mahler's 6th to be truly insightful and more than an artistic match for the over-priced major label versions. Haenchen knows how to mine the poetry from this symphony of death with a 1st mvmt that isn't off to the races like so many others; a 2nd mvmt which doesn't lose it's pulse; a fragile 3rd mvnt taken at a slower-than-usual pace, yielding even greater pathos; and a 4th mvmt of roaring drama. This a performance of controlled passion and persuasive intellect. Unfortunately, the DDD recording is not first-class (it's at a distance, a bit unfocussed, and has a limited high-end), but it is a serviceable document, more than good enough to grasp Haenchen's stunning vision of Mahler. At this price, there's no reason not to snap it up. (By the way Haenchen's Laserlight CD of Bruckner's 4th is also a world-class performance.)
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